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Related to raven: Common Raven


raven, common name for the largest members of the family Corvidae (crow family), ranging throughout the arctic and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The common raven, Corvus corax, is a glossy black scavenging bird about 26 in. (66 cm) long, with a call resembling a guttural croak. Long the subject of superstition and legend, the raven can be tamed and taught to mimic human speech. Ravens are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Corvidae.


See studies by B. Heinrich (repr. 1991; 1999).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Corvus corax), a bird of the crow family, in the Passeriformes order. Body length, 60-65 cm. Black in color with blue or green metallic tint; young ravens are mat black. The distribution of ravens is very broad: they are found in Europe, Asia (excluding the southeast), North and Central America, and North Africa; in the USSR they are every-where except in densely populated areas. Ravens are not numerous. They lead a settled or a migratory life. During the winter they flock to the dumps near cities. They build their nests in trees and on rocks, coastal precipices, and tall structures. A single nesting place serves for generation after generation. From five to six eggs are laid once a year. The raven is an omniverous bird, but most of its food consists of animal food and carrion. A closely related species is the desert raven (C. ruficollis), brownish in color, which inhabits North Africa and southwest Asia; in the USSR it is found in the deserts of Middle Asia.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about a raven?

Ravens are symbols of diabolical evil in traditional Christianity. This bird also symbolizes uncleanliness and death because it feeds upon dead and decaying animals. Because it is a sign of transformation, the raven is also associated with magicians and sorcerers.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


bird of ill omen visits the despairing poet. [Am. Lit.: Poe The Raven]
See: Birds


guardian of the dead. [Christian Folklore: Mercatante, 159]


often presages death or catastrophe. [Animal Folklore: Jobes, 213]
See: Omen
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a large passerine bird, Corvus corax, having a large straight bill, long wedge-shaped tail, and black plumage: family Corvidae (crows). It has a hoarse croaking cry
a. a shiny black colour
b. (as adjective): raven hair
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in classic literature ?
And both the Ravens nodded, and begged for a fixed appointment; for they thought of their old age, and said, "It is a good thing to have a provision for our old days."
It's not known when the ravens first came to the Tower of London but the legend says that if the ravens leave, the Tower and the kingdom would fall, so Charles II decreed that there must always be at least six.
Raven conferred a 370 mile range, better charging, an updated drive unit, and new suspension.
As written by Kami Garcia, Raven's brain is already overloaded with typical high school worries and drama before the additional thoughts move in.
A Reuters investigation in January revealed Project Raven's existence and inner workings, including the fact that it surveilled a British activist and several unnamed US journalists.
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He watched them tumble and toss in the sun-gilded sky, high above Craigenfeoch - the Rock of the Raven - and Glenfeoch, the Ravine of the Raven, which inspired his literary legacy.
A raven seemed simply to be saying good morning to me from the stand of trees where our track begins.
Raven Intel is big step in the right direction toward increasing HR project transparency and enabling customers to independently select the best partner based on merit and quality.
At 11:55 MST on 20 March, an adult raven landed in silence about 20 m above ground in the lower canopy of a live but needleless 30-m-tall (70.6 cm dbh) Western Larch about 100 m upslope from the raven nest.
n ar ie The Raven, will still lending helping Aisha Toussaint, 22, takes over the mantle of Raven from original star James Mackenzie, and calls on a band of brave contenders to test their courage, strength and agility in a bid to become the Ultimate Warrior and help her fight her nemesis, the evil sorcerer Nevar.